Part 1 (Take-off): While still on the runway or as the plane takes off can sometimes be the most stressful part of getting on a plane. You feel trapped, confined, anxious, and maybe even irritated! All of these factors make it a great time to implement mudras (body expressions through the hands), practice our breathing, and maybe even focus on a mantra or affirmation.
Mudra option 1: Dvimukham Mudra- (facilitates deep relaxation & can lower blood pressure)
How to→ 1. Hold the hands facing upward below the naval. 2. Touch the tips of the little & ring fingers to the same fingers on the opposite hand.
- Rest the hands below the navel, with the forearms resting against the abdomen or onto the lap.
- Relax the shoulders back & down, with the spine naturally aligned.
Mudra option 2: Pala Mudra- (anxiety relief, releasing stress & muscular tension)
How to→ 1. Cup the hands & place the left hand with the palm upward four finger-widths below the naval. 2. Place the right hand with the palm downward at the level of the naval, just above the left hand, with the hands gently touching the abdomen. 3. Relax the shoulders back & down, with the elbows held slightly away from the body & the spine naturally aligned.
Affirmations for take-off: “Breathe.” “I am safe.” “I enjoy the freedom of traveling great distances quickly.” “I release all fear of flying & embrace the freedom of travel.”
Part 2 (In-flight): This is a great time to pull out a yoga sequence that you can do right from your seat! The purpose of these moves is to help release any tension that has built up in your muscles, keep the mind calm, and increase circulation throughout your body.
In-Flight Yoga Flow
- Starting by closing the eyes, noticing the breath, and take 5 deep breaths
- Tilt the right ear towards the right shoulder & hold for three breaths (repeat on the other side)
- Using the breath, on your inhales lift your chin to the sky & on your exhales pull the chin all the way into the chest for 5 deep breaths
- Roll the shoulders up to the ears & down the spine, roll shoulders back to start & then switch to rolling them forward
- Bend the right arm at a 90 degree angle, pull the arm across the body & pull closer to the chest using the left arm (repeat on both sides)
- Work into the triceps reach fingertips on right hand up & back between the shoulder blades (can use your other hand to push it further back, repeat on both sides)
- Being mindful of your neighbor, find a couple gentle twists by crossing the arms (giving yourself a hug) and then rocking from side to side looking over one shoulder & then the other. (Alternate to your other arm on top as well)
- Rolling through the ankles, wiggling the toes, and using tennis balls to roll the feet are a great way to keep legs awake & happy during your flight (just don’t let your tennis ball roll away!)
- Tennis balls can also be used under your legs, glutes, and behind shoulders/ribs to apply direct pressure & alleviate sore muscles
- Cat/cows while seated are another great tool to move through your whole spine
- Core work (if you have room!)→ From your seat, take your arms out in front of you, sit up tall, and alternate taking your knee up to touch the bottom of your arm. Keep the posture upright- it’s easy to sink the chest forward to make contact easier! Remember- a strong core is KEY to supporting a pain-free spine!
- Get creative with your leg movements- Try to bring one knee at a time into the chest to get a stretch along the back side of the leg. If you have room, bring your ankle onto your opposite leg to find a stretch through the hip- you can even lean into it!
Flight tips for Mindfulness:
- Read a book on a topic that will help you grow as a person or think in a new way!
- Bring a serape blanket that can double as an in-flight pillow AND a “yoga mat” if you are at an airport that has a Yoga Room! If you are so lucky, run through some Sun Salutations to increase blood flow, raise energy, relieve stress, and feel great!
- Use this time to journal, write in a planner, make a to-do list, and enjoy being “unplugged”
- Utilize essential oils based on your needs. I would suggest a lavender oil or blend to find a calm strength
Part 3: Landing: You’re almost to your destination! Take this time to visualize a smooth landing, the new places you get to explore, the progress you will make by getting work done, etc. Come back to your breathing & utilize essential oils for emotional support. Maybe even go back to our take-off mantras! Keep your body calm by using movement (think of our cat/cows) and finding the hands into one of our mudras.